Earlier this year, Mega Man Battle Network turned ten, but that doesn't mean there's no room for another anniversary (and they tend to group up like this). On July 6th, 2006, in the country of Japan, Inti Creates' followup to the Zero series came into the world on the Nintendo DS. Five years later, however, its only real lasting quality has become replacing Mega Man Legends as the most unsung series in Mega Man. Straight off the bat, Mega Man ZX is very unique. It retains essentially the same gameplay mechanics and style from the Mega Man Zero series. It even tried to revive the open world aspect the original Zero kind of had. But it put these elements into a world that feels very... un-Mega Man. You have kids doing henshin cosplay with mythical heroes and villains obsessed with evolution and godhood. It just seems so strange that the story of a little blue robot fighting a mad scientist could develop into this, and I do believe that's the largest reason ZX never caught on.
That's not to say the two ZX games were awful or anything. Aside from retaining the traditional action gameplay of X and Zero, ZX and ZX Advent typically had fantastic music, incredibly beautiful environments, and personally some of my favorite boss designs from any Mega Man title. It also forwent new weapons instead with the ability to gain new forms, which was very novel although in practice I think most players just stuck with the most useful ones. And while the story and world can be seen as strange, I know at the same time how much it appealed to fans for attempting to tie together the past with the present. It felt like we were solving mysteries, and for the time when ZX was new I was hooked by it myself.
It's hard to say what the future holds for ZX. A likely answer is probably not much, but then you never know. Even after ending years ago, the Zero series still lives on in other merchandise like albums and model kits. So long as the fan voice is there, there's a chance ZX can at least have the same as that.
A short-lived series, but still one worth looking over.